It’s by no simple coincidence that SCAD touts a 98% employment rate. An internship is something that will set any recent graduate aside, giving them a much better chance of employment upon graduation. It’s the difference between, “I’ve graduated and need to start looking for jobs,” and “I’m about to graduate and already have a job lined up for me.” It’s no wonder that a lot of SCAD alumni graduated with one, if not two or three internships behind their belts.

Paid or unpaid, in your hometown or hundreds of miles of way, when it comes to an internship it does matter how, when or where you’re doing it but what you get out of it, — the experiences — that is what will snag you a job post-grad, doing what you love at a company that speaks your language. This summer, SCAD District’s Intern Diaries will outline the various internships SCAD students are participating in across the U.S. and beyond. Stay tuned to find out the many benefits of gaining experience in your field before graduating.

Emily Huff, a fourth-year fashion design major, had not heard of Anthony Thomas Melillo (ATM) until her cousin mentioned him.

After getting her foot in the door Huff interviewed with ATM, sharing her portfolio and past experiences in fashion, and as she put it best, “the rest is history.”

Flash forward a little bit and Huff is now in Chelsea, New York working with ATM, living the dream

“It is a dream to be interning at such an incredible luxury brand, at this stage in my career,” said Huff.

Her for-credit internship consists of working Monday through Thursday,10 a.m. to about 5 or 6 p.m., organizing folders of fabric, researching for collections and putting together mood boards for designers. The company helps out by paying for her lunches.

“They appreciate my help and willingness to learn the industry (literally from the bottom up).”

Huff is the only intern located at ATM’s 12-person office. Being the only one gives her lots of opportunities to hop onto projects and help out with any tasks. That, paired with the knowledge she’s gained at SCAD, and Huff is confident in her ideas and feels comfortable enough to take initiative and answer questions.

“SCAD has very well prepared me for this internship, when my boss ask if I know a certain fabric or how something is made I know the answers right away,” said Huff.

“SCAD has taught me how to never say no to an opportunity. Just today a team member needed help in the office and I was the first to volunteer, I took picture of the collection and then hopped on to a new project dealing with social media.”

Coping with the every day hustle and bustle of a big city has been quite the transition for this Metter, GA native, but she was determined to make it happen, saving up for quite a while and even working everyday for a month at one point.

After sending out a total of 30 applications and receiving only a few replies, Huff advises students to keep a positive attitude through the internship application process. Even when being told many times that you aren’t qualified for the job. 

“Don’t give up, and don’t get discouraged. I wanted to give up and just work at the familiar restaurant that I had been over the summers, but I didn’t. I kept applying and calling,” she said.

“Chase your dreams because no one else can do it for you.”

Huff embraces each day, still a little surprised by the turn of events, but grateful nonetheless.

“I am thrilled to go to work everyday and see what the day brings. How many people get to say that?!”

Most embarrassing moment: My first day I was putting binders up on a shelf (the shelf was much taller than me) the binders were heavy and I was on my tip toes trying to juggle it all. But I couldn’t keep it all together, and all of the binders fell on me in a big open room, full of people I didn’t know at the time.

Written by Asli Shebe.